At Hart Plain Infant School we believe in the importance of inspiring children through creative art and craft work, writes head of the school Ruth Kenny.
So when Jo and John Turnbull of The Creation Station wrote to us in the autumn and told us about their new art and craft after-school club, we were very keen to meet them and find out more.
They explained that Create Club is part of The Creation Station Group and offers an after-school club designed to give children the freedom to explore, experiment, try out ideas, make new connections and problem solve for themselves, outside the standard curriculum.
This helps children develop deeper self-esteem and greater confidence in their own abilities while having fun.
These aims are completely in tune with our core values of courage, happiness, aspirations, integrity and respect.
Jo explained that this term the club would be inspired by artwork arising from cultures past and present from around the world.
I suggested they come along to our morning assembly to introduce Create Club to the school.
They brought along some examples of the arts and crafts that the children would be working on and talked to the children.
Four volunteers then worked with Jo and John and within 10 minutes they had produced clay models which they were very proud to show the rest of the school.
The club started in January and now has 14 regular members, ranging in age from four to seven years.
So far the club has produced Aborigine-style dot paintings using willow sticks, Chinese lanterns tying in with Chinese New Year, African paper and clay beads, and Indian mandalas using coloured rice.
One of the most popular was Mexican animalitos week.
The children used scrunched-up newspaper bound tightly with masking tape to produce imaginative animals. They then painted and decorated them. They created all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures and took them home to show parents.
At the end of the one-hour club, parents coming to collect their children have the opportunity to chat to Jo and John and to have a look at what their children have been making.
Jo said they hope to have a long standing partnership with Hart Plain Infant School.
There is a different theme each term and Jo and John are very keen that the club should become a permanent feature at the school.
Creation Station was opened in Waterlooville after nan-of-two Jo was finding it tricky to find fun and creative activities to do with her grandchildren when looking after them.